Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Thursday that Michelle Fischbach is his choice for lieutenant governor in his bid to reclaim his former seat.
Ms. Fischbach currently holds the position after former Lieutenant Gov. Tina Smith was selected by Gov. Marc Dayton to replace former Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal. Ms. Fischbach previously served as president of the state Senate.
“Michelle is a leading policymaker from greater Minnesota who knows how to lead, solve problems and get things done for Minnesotans,” Mr. Pawlenty, Minnesota Republican, said in a statement.
Ms. Fischbach, who has served in the Minnesota Senate since 1996, said she is honored to join the campaign.
“Together, we will focus on putting hardworking middle-income Minnesotans first,” she said in a statement. “Our efforts will include slowing down health care premiums, preparing Minnesotans for the workplace of the future, and making sure government is held accountable.”
Mr. Pawlenty’s decision to enter the open race gave Republicans a better chance of flipping the seat in their favor after the Democratic incumbent decided not to run for another term. The race moved from “leans Democratic” to “tossup” by University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” ratings after Mr. Pawlenty announced he was running.